23 Awesome Lightweight CMS Solutions

by Mark on February 21st, 2011 16 comments

Building a website from the ground up is far easier and much quicker with the use of a content management system (CMS) and while some of the best known such as WordPress are ideal for many projects, at times, simpler and lighter solutions are far more suitable. If you are in need of a stripped down, easy to use, and easy to install CMS, then read on:

1. Moto Motor

The “publishing engine that does less.” It is extremely simple, with direct page editing and no control panel, and supports drag and drop, express engine integration, and design integration. Moto Motor is a paid solution, but comes with a 30-day money money-back guarantee.

2. GetSimpleCMS

The latest version (at the time of this writing) of this free lightweight CMS is 2.03.1, which comes with plug-in system for extended support, user-friendly interface, high security, and file and site backups.

3. CushyCMS

A self-hosted application, which allows the building of unlimited sites and pages. It is available in 14 languages, allows the users to edit XML, and installs in just a few minutes. Free and Pro versions are available and the latter comes with branding features, support, and various additional controls.

4. Perch

Advertised by its developers as the “really light content management system,” costs £35 (approximately $57), and runs on Windows and Unix-type servers. It comes with control panel, full markup control, support from the authors, and allows sites in various languages to be created.

5. Simple CMS

Plugs into an existing site, sets up in minutes, allows branding, and is HTML 5 compatible. It comes in free, professional, and business versions.

6. Page Lime

Allows users to manage multiple sites from one single location, requires no installation, and integrates easily with any existing template. Free, professional, business, and enterprise editions are available.

7. Surreal CMS

Lightweight, yet rich on features. It lets designers and developers customize their designs, edit their content easily, link to Google Analytics from within the CMS, and manage multiple sites. Additional features such as easy page integration, rich text editor, page cloning, webpage history, image editing and resizing, and file management, make this CMS extremely versatile.

8. Wolf CMS

Supports drag and drop ordering, flexible page content, and reusable content snippets, comes with password protected admin area and has page navigation menu with unlimited hierarchy.

9. Razor CMS

Does not require a database, which allows it to be used on any type of hosting. Amongst its many features are multilingual translation support, external links in the link menu, file permissions security check, fast and simple installer, modular framework, file manager, multi-level menus, and user accounts with different levels of access rights. The main advantage of the Razor CMS is its extendibility, which allows additional features to be added when needed.

10. SiteManagr

An open source content management system, which supports events, posts, links, media, e-commerce, analytics, and makes provision for adding and managing users as well. It requires MySQL and PHP5 to run.

11. PyroCMS

A lightweight, open source CMS, which is simple, fast, and secure. It comes with theme support, easy Google Analytics integration, and allows the users to build their sites in multiple languages.

12. SkyBlueCanvas

A free, light, and open source CMS system, which is ideal for smaller websites. It is easy to install and use, flexible, skinnable, uses XML data storage, and supports customizable Meta tags and RSS feed creation.

13. Website Baker

Free, secure, easy to use, and versatile. It allows users to create their own templates in a matter of minutes and build accessible and SE-friendly websites. Multiple languages are supported and integrated file and media management, WYSIWYG back-end editors, and group-based access privilege system are available as well.

14. Zimplit

A very simple, open source, and 100% free CMS, which is ideal for developing mini-sites. It does not require database, has no admin area, and lets the users build a new site in just a few seconds.

15. WhiteCrane

Fast and secure content management system, which does not require database. It is ideal for creating wiki-like sites, facilitates simple HTML editing, comes with UTF-8 support and is extendible through a simple plug-in API.

16. CMS from scratch

A free, open source content management solution. It is easy and quick to install, does not need database, and has simple AJAX-powered interface.

17. Pluck

A CMS written in PHP, which is small and very easy to use. It is also open source and allows its users to create their own blogs with unlimited number of web pages, set up an album to show pictures, and add contact forms to their sites.

18. sNews

A content management system, which requires MySQL and PHP in order to run. It is very flexible, easy to use, and light.

19. Konductor

A light CMS platform, which is ideal for designers that use Dreamweaver.

20. Frog CMS

A simple and elegant content solution, which has easy to use interface and requires PHP and MySQL or SQLite 3 with PDO. It is open source and distributed under the GNU General Public License.

21. Symphony

An open source content management system, which is very simple, elegant, and flexible. It has a fast-growing extension library that allows its functionality to be further extended and comes with a XML-centric data engine.

22. Pixie

A free and open source CMS, which uses CSS for its designs, offers database backups, and supports JQuery, microformats, themes, plug-ins, modules, and blocks. It is also multilingual and lets its users build unlimited pages.

23. Typeroom Lyte

Comes in free, basic, business, and premium editions, which support from three to one thousand pages and come with twenty-five megabytes to five gigabytes of storage. The three paid options support custom plug-ins and FTP access, and the business and the premium editions support permissions as well.

Do you have a favorite lightweight CMS we didn’t list here? Please share with us in the comments.

Top Ten Content Management Systems

by Ryan Yaple on November 11th, 2010 28 comments
Top 10 CMS


Content management systems can bring a world of difference to the Internet.  Reading content, which the web is filled with, can be nearly impossible without a CMS.  CMS or content management systems power many of the websites that you use on a daily basis.  Whether you are checking the news or reading your favorite blog, chances are that some website that you use each and every day is using a content management system.

Top Ten Content Management Systems

10. Expression Engine

Expression Engine is a great contenet management system for those who are designers and web professionals.  Expression Engine has a large amount of flexibility that lets it be molded into whatever use is conducive to its owners.  Best of all, Expression Engine has a built in cache function that can help the busiests websites sustin themselves during high traffic periods.

9. Drupal

Drupal is an open source, completely free CMS.  This means that users do not have to worry about paying to deal with their content management system.  Drupal also has thousands of add-on modules and is able to create any site that you desire.  The modules and add-ons are a stunnign way to increase your ability to mold the sites that you would like in the future.

8. Joomla

Joomla is unique in the fact that it wants its users to succeed.  Joomla is developed through an open source initiative that gives more effort towards wanting their users to know what is going on with the project.  Even if you are not an expert, you are encouraged to get involved in Joomla and help it to become the best content management system out there.  Best of all, feedback costs nothing!

7. Concrete Five

Concrete Five lets users who are not super technically experienced create amazing websites.  You do not have to be on the top of the world to realize that a lot can be done with Concrete Five.  Drag and drop functionality as well as the free cost brings Concrete Five in at number seven in our countdown.

6. Cushy CMS

Cushy CMS is another user friendly non-technical CMS.  It is currently deployed to over 10,000 websites that are live and being displayed on the Internet right now.  Users are able to safely and easily download and upload content as well as make edits to content on their installations.  Cushy CMS is safe for those who are not experienced and want to try a CMS out for the first time.  Cushy CMS also does not cost anything.

5. Symphony

Symphony is a CMS designed for developers.  Anyone who enjoys going in and digging around with code will love using this content management system.  However, there are a lot of people who do not like doing so.  Symphony is versatile and easy to use for developers but might not be the first choice for those that are not as technically inclined.

4. Mambo

Mambo is very well known to developers and users of CMS.  Mambo has the ability to be complex as well as very simple.  It is up to the user how complex they want to take the system.  Don’t worry if you don’t know much.  Mambo is hosted on sourceforge, one of the largest open source development communities in the world.

3. PivotX

PivotX is an easy to use open source blog CMS.  It is great for any type of site you are building regardless of how simple or complex it is.

2. Railfrog

Railfrog is built on top of Ruby on Rails.  This is the same powerful software application that has Twitter and Basecamp as some of its sister websites.  Railfrog does require that developers know a little bit about how to use and code Ruby on Rails.  However, they provide excellent information and are willing to work with anyone who does not have all of the necessary experience to work with Ruby on Rails.

1. WordPress

WordPress is an amazing blogging software!  While it is first thought of as a blogging software, the software in WordPress can be used to create websites and manage loads of content as well.  WordPress is used on over 10% of the Internet today.  Check out where you can use WordPress and how you can use WordPress by looking at their websites along with the codex for all of the developer support that is necessary.

There is a content management system for almost everything.  Whether you have found the perfect CMS or not, you have learned a large amount about what a CMS can do for your web presence. What is your favorite CMS? Please share in the comments.